I am coming to the end of a 3 week long vacation sans husband for the first time after marriage and I have to begrudgingly admit " I loved it". Now before you start speculating on the state of my marriage, I would like to make a case for why "Flying solo" is a great idea for couples.
I remembered a joke as I started writing this blog. Once a man was travelling alone in a train. He stuck up a conversation with a fellow passenger and told him- " I am going on my honeymoon". The passenger was confused, he was like where is your wife? The man replied - "I am going on the honeymoon this year and my wife will go next year :-). After all a honeymoon is meant to be enjoyed, if both of us go together that will never happen."
Flying solo is something like this joke, not literally though. I remember when I was single and had to make the long flights to India, I always wished I had a partner that I could travel with, because 30 hours of no talking was a giant task for a talkative person like me. And now that I am married, I actually did not mind the 30 hours alone. Ahh the contradictions of the human mind!. Well, to tell you the truth I did mind P not coming on the trip initially. I was too used to the couple mode and getting used to the single mode took some time but when I finally got used to it, I discovered the joys of this short time off.
I always tell people I only write blogs when P is not in town, because that is the only time I actually get to sit down and reflect. When he is in town, there is no downtime and even if there is, it is a couple downtime, not an individual one. I am sure my married friends understand what that means. There is a status quo in married life that you get used to, talking to each other, doing activities together, taking care of the house etc. There is rarely time to step back from it all and evaluate it at an individual level. There are days where you get caught up in the fluidity of it all. Well you will say that is what vacations are for, what is special about not taking your partner along. I think the same way vacations allow you to look at your life in a different light, solo vacations allow you to look at your partner and other relationships in a new light. The latter part about other relationships is important. Very often in today's nuclear world it becomes all about you, your partner and your kids if you have any. What about your multitude of friends, partners, close relatives etc. They fade away into the background. That is what I think flying solo gives you, the quiet time to understand what is important in life and helps you appreciate it.
So what did my vacation teach me:-
- That my husband is possibly the most honest and down to earth person that I have known in my life. The most important thing that he has taught me is that if you want to make the most out of a relationship then put yourself out in the open, in the most honest way. In most cases people will not understand and appreciate it but when they do you will get the true joy of being a relationship. Also, that it takes guts to be brutally honest about yourself to other people as well as yourself but without that there is no other way to grow.The other thing that I have learnt from him is that most instances in life can contribute to a joke and making a fool of yourself once in a while is a good way to break the bubble that we build around us.
- My parents are the coolest people around. I have always known that my parents are different than other set of parents, they are most genuinely happy and peaceful people that I know. But the best part is their internal child which is always curious and excited. Watching my parents get excited about getting drenched in the ocean waters was delightful to the say the least. They were jumping with joy like kids would. They taught me that success is only defined by how happy and uncomplicated you are!
- Meeting up with old friends is intoxicating. It is surprising how the years in between vanish when you meet an old friend. There is something to be said about the comfort of being with an old friend, we all have so much change going on in our lives that it is almost essential for us to keep ourselves rooted to these people as they help us deal with the everyday change in our life. Also, people dnt change, they just become wiser J
- And finally, children are the best teachers. They say kids are mirrors of us, I would change that and say kids are mirrors that lead us to our soul. My 4 year old nephew taught me that. His response is not decorated by years of conditioning where we have been taught to behave in a certain way for a certain situation. His joy, curiosity, love and anger are all genuine. The quickest way that kids learn is by imitation, so if you see them doing something that you dnt like, look at yourself for you may be doing the same.